Question of the Week: June 9th, 2015

How well do you remember other people’s labels?

In the recent Carnival of Aces, there was a lot of discussion of labels and how we relate to our own labels.  But I’m curious how you relate to the labels of other people in your community.  Do you tend to remember what labels are attached to people, or not?

I personally have trouble remembering a lot of people’s labels, I think because I don’t have a strong need to reassure myself that I am not alone.  Although for what it’s worth, I tend to remember when people ID as gray-A, or as male.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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7 Responses to Question of the Week: June 9th, 2015

  1. luvtheheaven says:

    Online it is really tough for me to keep track of certain people’s specific identities, although some are more vocal and repetitive about what they are, so it makes it easier to remember. Offline I always remember, the moment they tell me it sticks with me as a big deal. I don’t know.

  2. Kitty says:

    i actually find remembering peoples’ labels the easiest when they’re the same or close to the same as mine. [such as demisexual and agender!] but i try to do my best in getting everybody’s labels attached to them properly…the xKit nickname feature for Tumblr was particularly helpful, but with xKit’s creator being run off, it just slowly deteriorated.

  3. Sennkestra says:

    Overall, i’m not very good at remembering people’s sexuality labels – in the same way that I’m not very good at remembering names, or ages, or pronouns, or their religions, or whether they have a partner, or a lot of other things….it’s part of generally being not the most socially observant person.

    On the other hand, I am much more likely to remember if someone identifies as ace of some flavor than if they identify as say gay or bi or pan – probably because I have more self-interest in finding other ace people like me than in remembering if someone else was lesbian or bi or just “queer”. (I think this plays out with things like being aromantic or interested in kink as well, but to a much lesser extent).

    Within that ace group, though, I’m still not super great at keeping track of people’s specific sublabels, like what their romantic orientation was if they also identify with autochorissexuality or whatever. With the exception of a small handful of people who I talk to/read posts from about their identities super often, I usually have to check people’s profiles or ask them again to remember the details of their identity. It also doesn’t help that in a lot of the communities I’m in there are a lot of questioning people who are still figuring out labels and may have completely different identities in two months than they do now.

  4. Silvermoon says:

    I tend to be better at remembering those in the Ace community, although if the information isn’t reinforced several times I can still forget. But I’ve been interacting with a lot of people under the Queer umbrella this year so remembering everyone’s sexuality and gender identity/pronouns and names gets really hard. But I think that’s more of a me-specific thing, especially with the names.

  5. Sciatrix says:

    Depends on how harried I am and how well I know people. Generally, I remember people who are more like me or whose identities are unusual enough in my social network to stick out in my head a bit better than otherwise.

  6. Tim says:

    online I do not put a whole lot of thought into it. Probably only when the labels are relevant to the given discussion. In person I tend to remember pretty well. I think that is just because I find the diversity interesting.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t tend to remember them that well, especially the more specific, less common ones. I also tend to forget things like (real) names and alternate handles, until I’ve seen them repeated enough times. Since labels, identities, and even pronoun preferences sometimes change anyway, I just try to rely on checking when I can—which unfortunately sometimes gets difficult, as tumblr doesn’t like to load for me on mobile (and sometimes even refuses to show up on my PC, for some weird reason).

    Labels that are more relevant to me or make more sense to me I tend to remember better, even if I wouldn’t describe myself in terms of those labels. Broad categorizing labels (like gay/lesbian) are easier to remember than very specific ones (like autochorissexual—I have an especially hard time remembering that one; I guess I just don’t find that sort of information very relevant to interacting with people). All labels (and names) are easier to attach to people I’ve met in person or at least seen on videos. I suppose it just helps to tether it to a visual.

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